Many workers come to the USA following all laws and regulations. They obtain valid and legal visas and come to work here temporarily.
Many of these visas, such as the H1B visa (skilled workers such as software engineers), are valid for 2 consecutives periods of 3 years. When it is time to renew, these people have to exit the country to get a stamp. Often getting stuck outside the USA while their work and home is here. Why can't we do the bureaucratic checks here in the USA? They are already in the country? Why do they have to wait a few weeks or months while someone in a consulate or embassy forwards their paper work to someone here in the USA!? Just do that same paperwork, but, from the USA. There are no security reasons; i.e. they are already in the USA.
Response to Petition
By Janice L. Jacobs
Thank you for sharing your views by signing the petition "Holders of valid, legal visas should be able to renew their visa without having to exit the country" on the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov.
The Department of State previously provided visa revalidation services within the United States for certain nonimmigrant categories, when applicants had clearly approvable applications and had not changed their visa status. However, this program ended in 2004 after the enactment of legal requirements for personal interviews of visa applicants and collection of biometrics. An in-person visa interview allows us to ensure that the visa applicant has complied with U.S. immigration laws, poses no national security concerns and is otherwise eligible for a visa. These security measures help to safeguard the United States.
Visitors who wish to extend their stay in the United States, including temporary workers, may file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the expiration of their authorized stay. You can find additional details on how to file this request on the USCIS website. More information about Temporary Worker Visas is available on the Department of State's website.
The Administration recognizes the difficulty that may arise from having to depart the United States to renew a visa. We are working, both domestically and at consular sections abroad, to minimize the associated burdens. We will continue to look for ways to streamline visa renewal processes to meet the needs of those legally working in the United States and contributing to our economic prosperity, while also ensuring our Nation's security.
Please see the President's recent announcement on attracting and retaining foreign-born entrepreneurs and highly-skilled immigrants to start up the next generation of small businesses in the United States.
Janice L. Jacobs is Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State